In a purpose searching escapade I took the advice of Priya Parker (awesome video, highly recommended) and decided to write my own Ideal Obituary.
The basic idea is you write an obituary for where you want to be when you die & then compare that to the life you’re leading now to push yourself to make up the difference. Obviously its not based on a 23 year old me, but an older man, however, in order to create those situations - as Rage Against the Machine would say "It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime, what better place than here, what better time than now… All Hell Cant stop us now .. "
SO as with all of these things, they’re not real unless they’re on the internet, so here we go.
Tims Ideal Obituary
There was never a moment you didn’t feel welcome in Tim’s home, whether old friends or new, there was always a place for you to eat, drink, feel safe and be welcomed.
That, along with his endless rants on how to make the world a better place, is what his family and closest friends will remember most.That’s not to say he didn’t put his family first, steadfastly embodying the stereotypical doting father & grandfather. Although slightly more eccentric than most, none could ever doubt how he cherished those years with his wife, watching his children grow and learn.
What he hadn’t bargained on however, was that this inextinguishable inner child would rub off on those kids, becoming just as weird as him (in wildly different ways), much to his endless consternation. To friends and family alike Tim put his energy into being the best friend he could, always making sure he was there to lend an ear and someone to turn to for advice or solace. As a man who took any opportunity life threw at him, Tim was never short of a bizarre story from some adventure or another; be it in a village, deep in some country you’ve never heard of, or someone he got talking to on the way to the shops; even if you’d heard it a hundred times, the way it lit up his eyes never failed to impress. Those old tales were surely responsible for spurring on many an irresponsible journey in his friends and students, but rarely was it one they regretted. As a man who devoted his life to helping others improve their lives, it was those small moments of triumph, when he saw people take the steps to really make a difference, that truly made it worthwhile. Never wanting to be considered normal, Tim revelled in his oddness, from; talking absolute gobbledygook or working on a bizzare new outlet for his creativity, to standing up and fighting for what he believed in (especially when unrealistic) - that was when you’d find Tim just being Tim.
It may surprise some of you reading this that I haven’t described Tim’s professional life in detail, but as a man who followed his inspiration down any rabbit hole it would take him, he always trialling some new idea or another - just for the joy of learning it. To Tim, the specifics were always immaterial; If it had the potential to make a real positive difference in this world and excited that fire in his belly to do it, then he would fight tooth and nail to find a way to make it work, stubbornly refusing to bow in the face of fear or adversity.
That’s not to say the man wasn’t responsible for some almighty cock ups, but as he’d always say (after a healthy amount of feeling sorry for himself), failures as good a tool for learning as any and if you can get a good story out of it, then you’re a lot better off than when you started!
If there’s one piece of advice Tim fought successfully to embody, it was to risk it all to live a life true to yourself, no matter what stands in your way or how utterly ridiculous people may believe it to be.
in closing, I can think of no better way to describe Tim, than by his own personal mantra, from Barack Obamas tribute to Steve Jobs when he passed. 'he was brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world, and talented enough to do it”
You’ll be sorely missed, you silly man.